This 39-year-old is attempting a comeback

Ankiel 'toying with' trying to pitch in professional baseball

August 2nd, 2018

Rick Ankiel might not be done with the Major Leagues yet.

Ankiel, 39, told Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports on Wednesday that he is "toying with" the idea of pitching in professional baseball once again. Ankiel last played in the Majors in 2013 as a member of the Mets, and has not pitched in an MLB game since '04.

"I have nothing to lose," Ankiel told Yahoo. "I'm not afraid. I might as well try."

Ankiel certainly looked the part in a Bluegrass World Series game for retired ballplayers Wednesday in Louisville, Ky., as he showed off his famous two-way skills by going 2-for-4 with four RBIs at the plate and striking out the only hitter he faced with a high fastball.

Ankiel told Yahoo that he has been throwing regularly this summer as he continues coaching other players suffering from the same anxiety he overcame as a pitcher for the Cardinals in 2005. The thought of returning to organized baseball has crossed Ankiel's mind more and more as the ball felt good coming out of his hand. Brown reported that Ankiel's fastball topped out at 89 mph during his mound cameo Wednesday night.

"My kids have never seen me play, never seen me pitch," Ankiel explained. "And I feel like I'm in a better place."

Ankiel rose quickly up the ranks at the turn of the millennium, winning 11 games with a 3.50 ERA during the 2000 season for St. Louis before a famous postseason struggle with the yips sent his career on a different path. Ankiel eventually battled back to the Majors as an outfielder, hitting .242 with 74 homers between 2007-13.